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2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Rainbow City Band

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Bands & Ensembles, Music

Mission: Rainbow City Band is a community band of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and gay-friendly instrumentalists and supporters.  For the enjoyment of ourselves and others, we perform music at the highest level possible, build confidence and commitment by mastering challenging music in a variety of styles, enjoy a rewarding musical and social experience by fostering professional and friendly atitudes, and promote visibility and acceptance of gays and lesbians in the community at large.

Results: We regularly sell out our current performance hall (300 seats) at 4 concerts per year and annually host a successful gala dinner auction to subsidize our operating costs.

Target demographics: Music lovers of all ages.

Geographic areas served: Pacific Northwest including British Columbia

Programs: Music instruction:main objective is to provide music education and training through group rehearsals (9,143 student hours)

band programs: perform three major concerts in concert halls, nine small concerts in community settings, and march in nine community parades.

band and orchestra programs: training retreat. Intensive three-day musical training (720 student hours)

Community Stories

16 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

4

Board Member

Rating: 5

I joined the band in the autumn of 2006 after I moved to Seattle. I recently had seperated from my partner and was feeling very depressed and shy on top of moving to a strange city. As the weeks went on I made friends. Everyone was very welcoming and friendly. After 2 years I ran for the Director of Events position and joined the board. This group is extremely motivated and incredibly ambitious. Its leaders are involved and cognizant. The group is a great environment for community musicians of all ability levels and the director is the sweetest, most nurturing guy. The band has experienced significant growth in the past 2 years in many areas. During last years recession they had their most successfull fundraising aucution, performed with the Seattle Womens Chorus, and have had the capital to advertise on NPR and Seattle Times. They were also awarded a Pride Foundation grant. This group will no doubt be the leader in new community arts organizations within the next 5 years.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My children participated in the Rainbow City Band's holiday concert this past year (they played the kazoo). We all had a wonderful time. In addition to being a superb musician, the conductor is great with children. It was definitely the highlight of our holiday season.

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I joined the band in it's first year. I knew the conductor and wanted to support her vision for a Gay and Lesbian band. I was a member for less than one year...(Back then...only 15 to 25 members)...We marched for the fist time ever in the Seattle Pride Parade...and were welcomed into the community with shouts and screams!!!..I have been involved with music since childhood...eventually carving out a career, so my participation with this wonderful band has been sporadic. Now over ten years have passed and the band has grown into a great artistic energetic and enlightened group. The leadership is the best. WOW! A healthy and positive place for like minded adults... Having recently joined the band...once more, I am delighted with energy that each person brings...whether it is board members who lead us into the future, or Michael, the fearless leader of the band, or the sound of a musician as they express beauty in the notes they play. I am very happy to be a member and will continue to support this group.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined the band after being away from music for 26 years! I was immediately drawn to the peacefulness that comes with being immersed in music making for several hours each week. I stayed because of the people and the relationships I developed. I've taken on leadership roles and am always awed by the members' dedication and selfless giving to this organization.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been in Rainbow city band for 12 years. I have been HIV positive since 1988 of October. This wonderful organization is a place for healing, support, and a place where i can express fully. I love this band called Rainbow City band. I don't know where I would be without it. It has given me strength, courage, and has helped me to conquer anything that may be challenging in my life. I love this band and I consider it my family.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Last summer, on a hot July evening the Rainbow City Band took to the streets in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle to pratice our marching and playing. Being that it is rare to have a very warm evening here in Seattle, everyone had their windows open in hope of a cool breeze. Instead, to their surprise they heard a marching band. What happened next was unbelievable. People began coming out of their apartments and houses to listen, clap, dance and even to follow us block after block. Bringing this spontanious erruption of pure simple fun and joy to our community on a warm summer evening is what makes the Rainbow City Band such a wonderful organization. I never expected that playing "Stars and Stipes Forever" and "Thriller" on my flute after a 34 year hiatus, during band practice on the streets of Seattle, would be so fun!

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined RCB over seven years ago after not having played in 13 years. I was instantly hooked on the pure joy of creating music and developing long-lasting friendships at the same time. Since then I've had the pleasure of serving in leadership positions, sharing in the band's growth in size and musicianship, and watching the impact we make wherever we play. This organization has a proud past and a bright future.

11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Rainbow City Band in Seattle does a great performance, offers a great expereince and provides musical outreach to communities. You will enjoy the show... that is a guarantee.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Rainbow City Band is about community and diversity. While it's an LGBTQ and Allies organization, the band reaches audiences on a broad spectrum by giving back in small and large ways. From collecting canned goods for the hungry during the holiday season to volunteering their musical talents at events like the AIDS and Breast Cancer walks, Rainbow City Band never hesitates to help others in need. My involvement in the band started when I carried water for the marching season. I stepped it up the following year by pushing a member of the drum line in a wheelchair so that she could continue to participate and do what she loves. After that, I was hooked, and I'm a full on member of the band!

11

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

While I enormously enjoyed the performances of the marching band this past summer, the two concert band performances so far this season were spectacularly entertaining and well played. Keep up the excellent work all!

9

Board Member

Rating: 5

I joined RCB in 2005 because I wanted to meet new people. I had my instrument shipped out from the midwest where it was hidden in storage for 5+ years. Since then, thanks to RCB, I've grown as a musician and as a person. I've met so many wonderful people through participation in RCB. Our organization is a place for people to come together around an activity that is positive and life-giving. Because of that, RCB has helped strengthen my relationship with my family and others who otherwise struggled to accept my sexual orientation. By witnessing the positive and life-giving community of RCB, they were able to discard the misunderstandings and negative imagery they had of the LGBT communities.

9

Board Member

Rating: 5

I joined Rainbow City Band about 6 years ago after attending one of their concerts. I had not played my instrument in over 20 years. I was warmly welcomed when I joined and over the years have developed long lasting relationships with people who are now like family to me. Some Tuesday evenings when I am tired after a long day of work I tell myself I am too tired to go to rehearsal but I go anyway knowing by the end I will be uplifted and energized by the music, the friendships and camaraderie of my band mates! It's a wonderful thing to experience relationships through music and a common goal.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After college I put my trombone away and became a teacher. I had to make a living. Twenty years later wandering around the booths after the Seattle Pride Parade, I was yelled at by an older lady. "Hey, do you play an instrument? Join OUR band!" I will never forget how afraid I was the first time I pick up my trombone after 20 years. I had my postition sheet to cheat from and the music looked like a foreign language. That was 4 years ago and I am now playing the 1812 Overture! What can I say about Rainbow City Band? It is the BEST 2.5 hour WOW of my week! I leave the stress of my daily life and walk into my FAMILY of musicians:straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, single, married, able-bodied, physically-challenged, young, wise, beginners, and experts and everything in between and with gentle, humorous, and expert leadership we create the most beautiful sounds imaginable. We have AHHH moments that we are fortunate to take to the stage.

5

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Rainbow City Band is a passionate, dedicated group of individuals committed to musical excellence and serving the LGBTQ community. The bring visibility of LGBTQ people to parades around the region, as well as concerts. The sense of community and belonging that is felt within the organization is second to none. This is a strong arts focused non-profit that will continue to grow, evolve, and serve more and more folks for years to come, no doubt!

5

Board Member

Rating: 5

Rainbow City Band is a dynamic and welcoming community organization. Since I joined in 2001, I've seen our numbers grow from about 50 to almost 80 in our concert band. Our musicality and professionalism has also grown exponentially and I'm continually impressed at the level of music we're able to accomplish as we prepare for each new concert. We are in the midst of a growth spurt which has come with its share of bumps, but I'm happy to say that our membership and board gracefully welcomes each new set of "nice to have" problems that are happy symptoms of a growing organization. I'm very proud to be a member of RCB.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

RCB is unique and amazing. How refreshing to have an LGBT and Ally organization that is based on such an accessible thing as music. RCB is truly inclusive from its transgender members to their invaluable allies from 18-year-old's to senior citizens. Anyone can participate and everyone can enjoy. It is a real gem of the community and a joy to be a part of and to watch!